After much negotiation, the deal has been confirmed and is now subject to being ratified by each council. In short my view is although the additional cash is welcome the opportunity has been missed to get real reform for Lincolnshire. The danger of not going forward with this deal was far greater than going into it. However, the inescapable fact is we are replacing a tired and no longer two-tier system of local government with a four-tier system of local government.
You can read the devolution agreement by clicking the button below. However, I’ve reproduced the summary of the document directly. You can be forgiven for thinking ‘so what?’ after reading….
Extract from Greater Lincolnshire Devolution Deal:
Summary of the proposed devolution agreement between government and the leaders of the 10 Greater Lincolnshire local authorities with the support of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
A new, directly elected Mayor will act as Chair to the Greater Lincolnshire Combined Authority and will exercise the following powers and functions devolved from central government:
• Responsibility for a devolved and consolidated, multi-year local transport budget for the area of the Combined Authority
• Ability to franchise bus services, which will support the Combined Authority’s delivery of smart and integrated ticketing across the Combined Authority’s constituent councils
• Oversight of a new Joint Investment and Assets Board, to be chaired by the Mayor, to review all public sector land and property assets and help unlock land for housing and employment
• Ability to make proposals for Mayoral Development Corporations or other emerging vehicles to help take forward large developments or new settlements
The new Greater Lincolnshire Combined Authority, working with the Mayor, will receive the following powers:
• Control of a new additional £15 million a year funding allocation over 30 years, to be invested to boost growth
• Responsibility for developing a strategic infrastructure delivery plan which will identify the infrastructure needed to support the increased delivery of new homes
• Responsibility for chairing an area-based review of 16+ skills provision conducted in accordance with the established objectives, framework and process nationally for the area review programme. The outcomes of the review will be taken forward in line with the national framework principles of the devolved arrangements, and devolved 19+ adult skills funding from 2018/19
• To help tackle long-term unemployment in Greater Lincolnshire, the Combined Authority will feed into the national design of the new Work and Health Programme. Greater Lincolnshire Combined Authority will also develop a business case for an innovative pilot to support those who are hardest to help
• To move with government and local criminal justice partners towards a co- commissioning arrangement for services for Greater Lincolnshire offenders serving short sentences
• To work with the government, PCCs, local prison governors and the Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC) to allow more local flexibility, innovation and co- ordination with other local services
• An opportunity to contribute to the outcomes from the Water Resources Study commissioned by the Greater Lincolnshire LEP and the objectives set out in the resulting Greater Lincolnshire LEP’s Water Management Plan
• The government will work with the Greater Lincolnshire Combined Authority to agree specific funding flexibilities. The joint ambition will be to give the Greater Lincolnshire Combined Authority a single pot to invest in its economic growth.
Further powers may be agreed over time and included in future legislation.